Detroit brothers freed from prison thanks to Facebook post

A Facebook post prompts a murder witness to come forward, earning a new trial for two brothers who had been imprisoned for more than 20 years.

Mar 3, 2020, 3:30 am*

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Fernando Alfonso III 

Fernando Alfonso III

A chance encounter on Facebook has helped free two wrongfully imprisoned brothers after they spent about 25 years in jail for allegedly killing a suspected Detroit drug dealer.

Raymond and Thomas Highers, both 46, were released from prison Monday on $10,000 bond each after spending more than two decades behind bars for allegedly killing a drug dealer in 1987.

The brothers were released after “a Facebook post by a former resident of the neighborhood where the brothers had lived led to the discovery of new witnesses who shed doubt on their guilt,” CNN reported.

The post from community member Mary Evans in 2009 prompted a man living in the home where the drug deal went down to come forward as a witness to the incident. He described the alleged killers as black, while the Highers brothers are white.

The new testimony introduced enough doubt to prompt the Wayne County Court to grant the brothers a new trial set for Aug. 29, and allow the brothers to go free. They had previously both been serving life sentences.

“We’re feeling very happy and elated,” Thomas Highers Told CNN Thursday. “The last few days have been like a whirlwind … meeting new family and getting to know everybody once again.”

Screengrab via ABC

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*First Published: Aug 17, 2012, 5:44 pm